Obituary of Leo Roger Desjardins
On March 21, 2023, Leo R. Desjardins, Sr. of South Hadley, MA passed peacefully at the age of 102 at the Renaissance Manor in Holyoke, MA. Dad was born on September 3, 1920, in Richford, Vermont. He was the sixth of nine children of Sylvio and Marie (Sauvageau) Desjardins.
Growing up Dad worked on his father’s dairy farm near Montgomery, Vermont a few miles from Jay Peak’s beautiful countryside where he developed a great work ethic, and a love and appreciation of the outdoors. He would bale hay, tend to the livestock, hunt, fish, farm, cook, sew – his Mom ensured that even the boys knew how to take care of themselves.
He served honorably and humbly in the U.S. Army 98th Infantry Division in World Ward II as a Sharpshooter. After the war, he moved to Chicopee Falls, MA where Dad met Mom (Simone Asselin), the love of his life. They were married on May 22, 1948, had six children, and a long joyful marriage together of 59 years until Mom passed in 2007. Dad and Mom loved their weekend trips together in the Vermont Mountains, Berkshires and the beautiful beaches throughout New England with their children, and as they grew older enjoyed seeing some great live shows in Las Vegas.
Dad owned and operated two full-service Mobil gas stations for 35 years (1950-1985) in the North End of Springfield MA where he built many long enduring relationships in the community. To keep active in retirement, Dad was social and also worked part-time as a security guard and maintenance worker at Filene’s and Macy’s at the Holyoke Mall. Dad was also very active as a volunteer in many organizations he loved. A communicant of St. Theresa Church, South Hadley, Dad served and volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister. He was a leader in the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for many years having served as Commander of the Local Chapter where he led the annual local Forget-Me-Not donations drive for the DAV. He was also a longstanding volunteer at the Veterans’ Home in Holyoke. In 2006, he was named ‘Veteran of the Year’ and recognized by the State Senate.
Dad will always be remembered by his family, friends, and the people that knew him as a high integrity, honest, caring, and loving man with a strong sense of responsibility to his family, loved ones and those in need – especially children and disabled American veterans. He was always grateful and considered himself blessed each day of his long active life – a great example of a life well lived.
Dad will be deeply missed by his five loving children, Gerard Desjardins and his wife Kim, Marie Demers and her husband David, Rita Sabourin, and Normand Desjardins all of West Springfield, MA and Leo Desjardins and his wife Maria of Naples, FL. His five grandchildren, Brian, Ahrayah, Gerard, Jr., Andrew, and Marie as well as his great grand-children Madelyn, Amelia, Lacey, René, Elise, Burnell, Jaimin, and Rochelle, his niece Denise Dow who we grew up with our family, and many more nieces and nephews. Besides Mom, his sixth child André who died in infancy and his siblings Annette, Roger, Lucien, Jean, Oscar, René, and Ernest also predeceased him.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, March 28 at 9:00 a.m. from the Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home, 646 Newton Street (Rte. 116), followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in St. Theresa’s Church. Burial will follow in Ste. Rose de Lima Cemetery, Aldenville. Calling hours are Monday, March 27 from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
The family would like to thank the entire team at Renaissance Manor for the wonderful care, comfort, and support Dad received over the past 2 years and in his final hours.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leo Desjardins Sr. memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. PTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leo Desjardins, please visit Tribute Store